Island Heights Yacht Club
28, 1898 about thirty summer residents agreed to form a Yacht Club and for that
purpose assembled at the house of Charles Webb (the white house across from the
present club house).
In August of the same year the
by-laws and constitution of the Island Heights Yacht Club were adopted.
The objectives of the Yacht Club were, "to promote yachting and
rowing, and to foster athletic sports upon the water."
Dues were three dollars for active members and two dollars for junior
members. Women were permitted to
join in 1899 when an amendment was passed that allowed a ladies auxiliary to be
formed. However, women were unable
to pay dues or hold office.
On April 7, 1900 the Club was incorporated in the State of New Jersey. Riparian rights were purchased at the foot of Oak Avenue from Thomas Perrine for one hundred dollars. Construction on the clubhouse began and the facility was ready for the summer of 1900. The building was financed by 4% bonds purchased by members. The club house was completed and furnished for $3,500.00.
with Bay Head and Seaside Park Yacht Clubs began that year. Spectators often
went to these races in chartered railroad trains that left from the Island
Heights train station on River Avenue. As
the racing schedule expanded, Island Heights became a charter member of the
Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association in 1914.
The Club has traditionally sponsored the 4th of July race and for many
years ran the Wanamaker races off the Wanamaker Camp at the east end of Island
Over the years the Yacht Club has
undergone many alterations of its facilities.
The original club house was constructed on pilings in the river.
The clubhouse size was doubled in 1901 with the addition of a north wing.
In the 1930's a kitchen was added to accommodate the men's dinner to
honor the skippers of each season.
In recent years the Yacht Club has met its stiffest challenge. The club house built over water was unique, but this unusual feature was to become a liability. The pilings solid for over fifty years, finally gave in to worms and rot. The building was jacked up, the pilings replaced and a bulkhead and fill were placed around the facility. An upstairs enclosed porch has been added.
The latest problem to be solved was created by the
advancing technology of yacht racing. Small
boat racing advanced beyond wet sailing. Boats
no longer were moored in the river, bottoms to be cleaned on Friday and raced on
Saturday and Sunday. Boats are dry sailed and this required land storage for
trailers and boats. The membership
has met this challenge with difficulty because it lacks space for land storage.
The Yacht Club has also
constructed a large enclosed marina for its
entire summer on a down bay course.
In 1989 the Yacht Club is making
plans to increase both its land storage areas and also to expand its marina.
entire summer on a down bay course.
In 1989 the Yacht Club is making plans to increase both its land storage areas and also to expand its marina.
While the emphasis of the Club is yacht racing, members also have an active
social calendar. Dances and dinners
are held on a regular basis. Both
the Ladies Auxiliary and the junior members have active organizations with
elected officers and social functions.
The Island Heights Yacht Club has 211 regular members and 52 junior members in the 1989 calendar year, and its budget exceeds $100,000 per year.
future of any Yacht Club lies with its junior members. Island Heights organized the first junior sailing program in
the 1950's with the purchase of 20 Clarke Duck Boats. The fleet was replaced with Parrine built Diamonds, which
were later replaced with Duck Boats built by David Beaton. Today the program has about 30 active sailors with 3 or 4
Heights Yacht Club's racing history really begins with the boat built in 1907.
The yacht named the I.H.Y.C. was built to serve two functions.
The racing for the Morgan and Sewell Cups for cat boats on Barnegat Bay
and the races for the Schermerhorn Challenge Cup.
The Schermerhorn Cup was open to sloops of organized amateur yacht clubs
in the State of New Jersey. Thus
the I.H.Y.C. was designed to accommodate two rigs, cat and sloop.
Fortunately for cat boats the I.H.Y.C. was never rigged for cat boat
sailing because she may have made the A-Cat boats of the 1920's we know on the
Bay obsolete. The boat was
primarily built for the Schermerhorn Cup because Ocean City Yacht Club, the
donator of the Cup, had built for this purpose a new racing yacht of light fast
design. Barnegat Bay had no sloops
designed specifically for racing because this locality was used for catboat
The Annual Meeting at the club
in 1907 was replete with lengthy discussions about the creation of a boat to
compete for the Schermerhorn Challenge Cup.
Charles D. Mower, a naval architect, later to become famous for his
designs of A-Cats, 17 Atlantic Cat Boats and G Sloops submitted plans for the
I.H.Y.C. The cost of the boat was
to be underwritten by a private syndicate of club members.
The boat was built by Eliah Townsand.
She was made of light weight Jersey Cedar.
Her length was 32 feet with a beam of 10 feet.
The-I.H.Y.C. resembled the Class E Scow of today, having double bilge
boards amidships and twin rudders. She also had a hollow mast, an unusual
feature for Barnegat Bay. Her
bottom was kept smooth with sat block, a messy but effective racing finish.
She was gaff rigged with a jib and could carry a large spinnaker.
The skipper and crew were chosen from the Club
membership. Dr. A. L. Mulford was
selected as her captain. Later Dr. Mulford was to captain a cup defender to be
built by a Philadelphia syndicate for the America's Cup. Unfortunately World War
I scuttled the syndicate's plans. The crew was well trained in the art of
sandbagging her ballast, reefing her enormous mainsail and handling the
spinnaker. The skipper and crew
trained week day evenings after getting off the Camden train at the old Island
Heights train station.
The I.H.Y.C.'s active sailing career began in the
summer of 1908 and she remained undefeated until World War I forced the cup into
retirement in 1917.
In more recent years the Club has
been privileged to have a member who created two racing classes.
Howard V. Siddons both built and designed the Barnegat 17 and the Jet 14.
Recent sailors who have contributed to both the National and
International field of racing are the late Cal Engle and Mark Culpepper who won
National Jet 14 Championships, and Charles Horter who won a bronze medal at the
Olympic Games in Kiel, Germany, in 1972.
Island Heights Yacht Club has gained
a reputation for organizing and managing national and international regattas
over the last several decades. The
Jet 14 and Ensign Nationals have been sailed from our Club, as well as the
Albacore Worlds. The E Sloop
Easterns have also been sailed here. The
Club has sponsored Comet and Snipe territorial regattas as well as a junior race
week for our bay sailors.
Written by Don Bottomley in 1989, IHYC historian until 1998, reprinted with his permission.
Island Heights Yacht Club Perpetual Trophies
Rodman Wanamaker Trophy - A Cats - 1922
Rodman Wanamaker Trophy - E Sloops - 1922
Atkinson Cup - E Sloops - 1925
Turner Trophy - Auxiliaries Class A - 1938
Jack Wright Cup - 1941
Horter Cup - Juniors - 1951
Brown Jug - IHYC vs. TRYC - 1956
J. Wellington Chops Bowl - Junior Program - 1956
Ernest D. Hangarter Trophy - Sneakboxes - 1960
Barnegat Bowl - Auxiliary Team Race - 1966
Ensign Trophy - Ensign - 1971
Corinthian Trophy - Auxiliaries Class A - 1980
Manhasset Trophy - Auxiliaries Class B - 1980
Parisi Trophy - Auxiliaries Class C - 1980
IHYC Perpetual Trophy - Ensigns - 1981
Martin Perpetual Trophy - Junior Invitational - 1981
Past Commodores of the Island Heights Yacht Club
1898-1900 - Charles Webb
1901 - Robert Shoemaker, Jr.
1902-1903 - J. Harvey Gillingham
1904 - Theodore J. R. Brown
1905 - F. A. Downs
1906-1907 - J. Harvey Gillingham
1908-1909 - John C. McAvoy
1910 - A. W. Atkinson
1911 - John Lucy
1912 - A. W. Atkinson
1913-1914 - E. L. Lloyd Jr.
1915 - A. W. Atkinson
1916 - Robert W. Schofield
1917-1918 - Charles L. ILL
1919-1920 - Albert H. Graf
1921-1923 - T. Bernley Brooks
1924-1927 - A. W. Atkinson
1928-1944 - Benjamin Adams
1945-1947 - Edward Wilson
1948-1950 - Philip Reynolds
1951 - George Nelson
1952 - William DeW. Horrocks
1953-1955 - Frederick A. Slack Jr.
1956-1957 - Donald C. Horter
1958 - William M. Wood
1959-1961 - George Hummel
1962-1963 - Frederic C. Grigg
1964-1966 - Justus C. Brick
1967-1969 - Leonard P. Egee
1970-1971 - Robert D. Byrnes
1972 - Frederick A. Slack III
1973-1974 - James T. Reynolds
1975-1976 - Harry Applin Jr.
1977 - Robert Engle
1978 - Richard C. Morrison
1979 - Stephen A. Tyler
1980 - Charles E. Franksen
1981 - Ernest V. Bencivenga
1982 - Stephen M. Zwarg
1983 - Bryan Warman Jr.
1984 - John Huston Jr.
1985 - Robert A. Morrison
1986 - Charles J. Horter
1987 - Robert F. Schmicker
1988-1989 - Robert R. Wightman
1990 - William T. Hummel
1991 - Harry M. Spaeth Jr.
1992 - Frederick L. Rosenfeld
1993 - Robert F. Lostrum
1994 - Jack H. Tabor
1995-1996 - Michael Frankovich
1997-1998 - Leonard P. Egee
1999 - Philip Reynolds
2000 - Arthur Bailey
2001 - Nola Grenley